Shoot for the Stars: Poker Photography

In the past, the realm of photography was limited to the lucky few who had access to a good camera and had been trained in the art of taking photos by choosing the correct settings for every different situation. Today, with the affordability of good camera equipment, and the dramatic increase in the quality of the cameras on smartphones, anyone can be a photographer. For those who enjoy photography as well as poker, taking photos at a poker tournament – as an amateur or even professionally – can bring you the best of both worlds, especially in cases where the gameplay at the table does not last too long. Snapping on your smartphone or your flashy DSLR can reward you with some good shots, but you can be a much better photographer if you follow a few simple rules of thumb when trying to take the perfect picture. When taking photos, any expert will tell you that position is key – more so when at a poker tournament when there are high stakes at hand. Scout the room where you want to shoot and find the best table – unless you have a specific subject in mind. As a photographer, you need to be positioned in a place close enough to the gameplay, but without infringing onto the players’ privacy (and cards). Remember, people taking part in poker tournaments are there because they are serious about the game and will frown upon anyone or anything which can distract them. So, be wary of using the flash setting, or setting up bulky equipment and leaving loose cables around game tables which are at play. Also, inform yourself about the best camera settings for your purpose in terms of ISO, aperture, shutter speed and white balance.